How 'give before you take' pulls in the business
NRG Synergy Newsletter 34 15 Sep 05
'For networking really to work, I believe you have to give before you can take,' insists Martin Firman, MD of Forward Moves. 'It's like any decent relationship.'
Martin has put this strong belief into practice over the last eight years and the result is that 90% of his business comes from networking.
'Networking is like a spider's web,' he says. 'You have NRG, say, at the centre, and the members on the ring immediately next to it. The next level out is members' contacts, and then their contacts in turn.' Martin is finding that he's now landing business from the outer rings, all as a result of work he's put in to cultivating members on the inner ring.
The secret, he says, is to be genuinely interested and to have a giving philosophy, rather than a taking one. 'Of course, in any networking situation,' he adds, 'you get the odd person who sees networking purely as a sales opportunity. Those people stand out and just irritate the rest of the group. That's why I think it's so important to listen before you talk.
'I seek to get involved with people I feel are genuine. The initial vibe and spark between you are very important, too. You actually have to like someone. For example, last month at NRG, there were three or four people on my table I really hit it off with. I'm now doing business with them.
'But networking isn't just about landing business,' he continues. 'It's also about support and advice. One of people on my table was Ray Clancy of Gotcha! PR. As I listened to Ray, I realised that she could advise me about some workshops I'm putting on in November.
'And she didn't stop at giving advice - she gave me a useful contact. When I rang this guy up and mentioned Ray's name, it was like having the right pass key. "I know Ray," he said, and the doors opened for me. Not only is he going to help me out with great venues for my seminars, but he's going to help market them on my behalf.'
So as a result of some advice sought through networking, Martin went from a position of no venues to six venues with the potential to get his seminars off to a really flying start. This shows brilliantly how networking means that everything is accelerated and done in a much more pleasant way.
Martin offers cost management consultancy and shows organisations how to manage and reduce their costs. He's delivering a series of seminars aimed at small businesses who can't afford his full services. 'I'm going to teach them how to do it themselves,' he enthuses. While the courses will focus on cutting phone bills, delegates will go away with a methodology they can apply across their businesses to save money and manage costs.
For more information about the courses, call Martin on 0770627 318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org